Is CFA worth it? Should You Take the CFA Exam?

If you are looking for a career in Finance, you probably have heard of CFA Certification Program or searching for additional information on this professional qualification. From gaining a global recognition to standing out in your field, the CFA certification can help you a long way in your financial journey.

Before getting into the reasons why taking a CFA course is absolutely worth it, let’s understand the factors you need to pass this examination. It is a 5-hour exam divided into 2 parts of 2.5 hours and 120 questions each. There are 3 such levels that you need to qualify in order to gain this certification.

While it can be a grueling process, the results you reap would be worth it!

Is CFA Worth It? Reasons to Choose CFA Certification

It’s not that easy! So, let’s look for some compelling reasons why opting for a CFA course is beneficial for your career.

1. A CV that Stands out!

CFA is one of the most prestigious and most sought after destination for finance personnel. Having such a name connected with your CV will help you stand out in the tub of applicants seeking jobs and will make a good impact on any employer. It suggests that not only do you have comprehensive knowledge of wealth management and finance academics, but you are also a hardworking and determined individual as passing this CFA certification takes months of persistence and discipline.

In the past few decades, as a result of industrialization and globalization, CFA has gained wide recognition as an industry gold standard. The three levels involved in the certification revolve around the same topics that take you from fundamental to advanced levels in that particular subject. By having this financial certification in your resume, professionals of the industry directly get an idea that you have in-depth knowledge in various fields of finance.

You may also like to gather minute details on How to become CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst?

2. CFA vs MBA: A Better Choice

It is often argued if the CFA charter is better than an MBA. While comparing the two, one can find the obvious differences that CFA is more affordable than an MBA. While an average MBA degree of 2 years (from a top institute) of course, its cost is much higher that that of CFA program. To opt for an MBA one has to take it full-time, attend a university, and be completely devoted to the degree to complete it. In the case of CFA however, you can continue doing whatever you are up to in life, and take it as a part-time preparation.

While experts advise giving around 2-3 months in its preparation, If you are already in the financial field, you will require lesser time. You do not need to attend any university or deal with attendance issues. The complete process from preparation to giving the exam is now conducted through an online mode.

The course is quite extensive and easily gets you to a graduate-level of knowledge in the field of Finance. It equips you with expertise in quantitative analysis, economics, portfolio creation, and wealth management. Comparing CFA and MBA completely depends on where you stand individually and what are your needs.

For instance, if you’re a fresher or relevantly new in the financial field and are looking to stand out and expand your knowledge, CFA could be your go-to. On the other hand, if you do not wish to be limited to the financial field and want to get expert certification in business management or wish to explore industries, MBA is the right choice for you.

In any case, the best advice is to have both in your basket. First CFA then MBA or vice versa. Both will help expand your industry knowledge and seek high performing jobs. This brings us to the third compelling reason:

3. Exposure to Better Job Opportunities

A CFA charter can boost up your career significantly. The CFA Institute released a list of the top 10 employers of Chartered Financial Analysts which includes global conglomerates such as JP Morgan, CitiBank, HSBC, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and more. A CFA charter can enhance your career if you’re already in the financial field or help you make a switch.

The job roles available after the CFA certification are in the field of asset management, as a Portfolio manager, private banker, fund manager, financial advisor, or relationship manager. Apart from these, people also become risk managers, equity analysts, or financial strategists. Sometimes, even non-financial professionals such as doctors and lawyers also opt for CFA with their respective degrees to gain command on the capital market study for personal wealth management purposes.

For more details, do have a look at CFA Salary in India, USA and Canada

4. Global Networking

Being an internationally recognized certification, it provides job opportunities and networking on a global basis. The CFA Institute is a global network of around 1,35,000 investment professionals. CFA holders are in demand in major places like Europe,  Asia, the US, and Canada. That’s a pretty big club to join, isn’t it? The Charter is recognized by universities in around 30 countries. So wherever you go, your CFA certification would be recognized and rewarded!

You study topics of wealth management and equity analysis from a global index point of view. You will get familiar with world economics, international exchanges like NASDAQ or NYSE, and trading in international stocks, unlike some courses like IFA in which everything is taught on Indian grounds. Gaining such exposure could be very beneficial for your future in the field.

5. Confidence in Financial Field

As mentioned above, having a globally recognized course in your resume helps you gain an edge over others in the market. It not only enhances your knowledge but also your confidence to stand in a room of financial professionals and communicate effectively. It can be viewed as a ticket to work for key investment firms and private banking institutions.

Have you decided to pursue CFA? Learn about the CFA Level 1 Exam, the initial examination for building a career in the said field.

CFA Certification Course: A Final Review

However, it can only ‘help’, not ‘guarantee’ you a job. It depends on the individual efforts you put into your operations and work ethic.

The charter is respected by people of the industry and so it the person holding it. According to research by the CFA Institute, employees reported a rise in their salary by a substantial percentage upon passing the three levels of this exam. No doubt, CFA certification acts as an added asset to your qualifications, thus increasing your net worth.

Still be confused about opting the CFA charter? It is all based on your personal preferences and interests. Right! Do let us know if you have any queries regarding the CFA examination.

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